Out with the Old, In with the New

This post is sort of a continuation of a previous post, When Less is Truly More. I’m finally back here after a long-ish absence, but it’s mostly going to be touch and go.

Edwin and I have finally found a suitable apartment after months of searching. We’ve stayed in this current place for almost two years, which is a record given the fluidity of the rental situation here in Hong Kong. And my gosh – the stuff we’ve accumulated! So as you can imagine, we’re super busy with all the packing!

Edwin’s got his gadgets (and their accompanying wires), towering stacks of documents, and all the paraphernalia from his hobbies. I’ve got my stash of Disney souvenirs, a mini gift-wrapping station (don’t ask), and more makeup brushes than I actually need and use.

The aim is to live a simpler life, and I’m giving away as much as I can. That said, it’s an ongoing process. Hopefully we’ll be able to get settled in the new place soon, and I’ll be back again to blog about the fun stuff.

Catch ya later!

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Smart Casual Dinner Outfits

There’s a dinner event that I may be attending tomorrow evening, and the dress code is the ever so often used (and abused) “smart casual”. What is smart casual? With so many possible interpretations, it could be just about anything.

It depends on the setting. It depends on the crowd. It depends on a dozen other factors. This could potentially be a long post, but I’m going to stop myself here, and show my personal interpretations of smart casual (via Polyvore, of course). In case you didn’t already know, I’m the type who’s usually overdressed, so my idea of casual is probably vastly different from someone else’s idea of casual.

The LBD

Smart Casual LBD

With earth tones thrown in for a bohemian vibe, which is what I’m really feeling these days.

Black Trousers

Smart Casual Trousers

Formal trousers become less well, formal, with the addition of a printed/embroidered blouse, boho-chic accessories, and metallic flat sandals.

Striped Dress

Smart Casual Striped Dress

Nautical striped dress, chunky heels, bohemian accessories, and a shoulder bag in my favourite colour? I’m in love!

Denim

Smart Casual Denim

Dark wash denim jeans, preppy white shirt, and lots of fun quirky elements!

Midi Skirt

Smart Casual Midi Skirt

Because every occasion can easily be a #minniestyle occasion.

Holidays at Hong Kong Disneyland

Truth be told, I’m a little envious of folks who live near Disney World or Disneyland in the States. If I were a resident of Orlando, I’d definitely be an Annual Pass holder. And while my peers are barhopping, I’ll be hopping over to one of the parks at least once every fortnight, even if it’s just to watch the fireworks!

In comparison, Hong Kong Disneyland is much smaller and well, less exciting than its American counterparts, but it’s good enough for me. Besides, it’s literally the closest thing I’ve got, since I can’t afford to fly to Florida or California every year.

You might then be surprised to know that I don’t have the Annual Pass for Hong Kong Disneyland, considering I’ve been there four times already, including this most recent trip. Well, two of those four times were with complimentary tickets, and I’m definitely not complaining. :p

In any case, I’m seriously thinking of getting it. If there’s going to be more Star Wars stuff featured in Disneyland, I might go there again during Star Wars weekend! (Can you tell that I’m addicted to Disney?)

Alright, enough yakking. Picture time!

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We were there a week before Christmas, and on a weekday, but it was insanely crowded. I cannot imagine just how packed it’ll be on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

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The castle’s barely visible in this shot! Well, real estate in Hong Kong is so expensive, even the castles are smaller than average. -_-

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Mickey-shaped waffle = the happiest breakfast on Earth!

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Baymax! I kinda regret not getting one. (It’s okay – more incentive to go to Disneyland again soon!)

Also, I didn’t DisneyBound as any character this time round. I was tearing my hair out over what to wear, and in the end I just went with a mint tulle skirt and the only coat I had that matched it. The colour of the skirt reminded me a little of Elsa’s dress from “Frozen Fever”, so I added a snowflake brooch, which you can see most clearly in the Mickey waffle photo.

Our first stop after Main Street was Tomorrowland, since it was the nearest and had the more popular rides. Queues are generally shorter in the morning, as with most other theme parks. We went on a number of rides (Space Mountain! Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters! Autopia! Orbitron!) before heading out of the park, and to Disneyland Hotel for lunch.

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Our Disney dimsum lunch at the luxurious Crystal Lotus! I’ll do separate post about this soon, I promise!

After lunch, we shopped a little bit in the hotel gift shop. The shops in the park itself can be rather noisy and chaotic, especially in the evening. On the other hand, there are generally fewer guests in the hotel gift shop, which is nice when you want a leisurely shopping experience, and the staff will be able to provide more attentive service, should you require it.

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Back in the park! Even though we had a huge lunch, I had to have my churros!

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We spent quite a bit of time in one of Disneyland’s newest attractions – Fairy Tale Forest, presented by Pandora. I was wondering if there’d be any crystals or pieces of jewellery or something that resembled the Pandora charms featured in the displays, but nope.

It’s a teensy bit similar to Le Pays des Contes de Fées (The Land of Fairy Tales) in Disneyland Paris, except here you have to walk through the attraction instead of taking a little boat. And you get to take pictures with the displays, as opposed to of the displays.

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They’re like dioramas that light up!

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The castle from “Beauty and the Beast”, with a section that opens to reveal the ballroom scene!

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One of my favourite Disney movies, and one of my favourite songs!

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The castle from “Cinderella”. Every couple of minutes, it’d be “midnight” and the clock would chime.

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If I were ever to have my own castle (well, a girl can dream), I’d want one by the sea, just like in “The Little Mermaid”!

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Gah, I’ve been framed!

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The magical beings at Disney have waved their wands and made it snow! Only now Elsa is getting all the credit for it. I like “Frozen” well enough, but since my childhood was during the Disney Renaissance, my heart will always belong to movies like “Pocahontas”, “Mulan”, and of course, “Aladdin”.

That’s it from me tonight! Thanks for reading! Sending good vibes and Disney wishes to everyone!

Odelice! Modern French Kitchen

A quick post about a quick and simple dinner date!

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Our food arrived all at the same time so I thought I’d do a single shot. Clockwise from top left: pesto pasta with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes, bread, mushroom soup, galette with duck breast.

I enjoyed the soup the most, while the rest were pleasant but not amazing. Since we weren’t that hungry, we skipped dessert that day.

It’s a nice place for a date. I’d love to go back to try out their dessert crêpes, and the affogato looked especially good!

Odelice!
Shop 9, 2 Landale Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2520 2311

Sunday Brunch at Whisk, The Mira Hong Kong

In October 2015, to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary, Edwin and I headed over to Whisk @ The Mira to try out their luxurious Sunday brunch.

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There’s the option of al fresco dining at the open-air lounge, but we preferred to stay indoors, where there’s air-conditioning. Plus I didn’t want to sit on a lounge chair, have the food at the same height as my knee, and then reach for it awkwardly. I take dining very seriously – good food is meant to be enjoyed at an optimum angle!

Alright, enough yakking from me – you came here to check out the buffet spread, didn’t you?

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Literally more than a dozen different types of salads and starters.

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Charcuterie (cold cuts) on the left, Caesar salad on the right. All-you-can-eat croutons and crispy pancetta? Don’t mind if I do.

Pfft, who gets excited about salad at a buffet, you say? Here are the big guns:

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Boston lobsters and freshly-shucked Fanny Bay oysters. Now we’re talkin’!

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Crab legs, mussels, and prawns. Bet you can’t tear your eyes away from the mountain of lobsterrrrrrsssss…

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Sashimi, gazpacho (in the foreground), and a caviar bar.

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Outside, there’s a BBQ station, featuring various types of grilled meat and vegetables.

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Suckling pig! And a very long sausage.

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There’s even grilled bread!

So far, so good. But the pièce de résistance?

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Oh baby, you had me at hello.

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International cheeses. Wine sold separately.

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It’s carbohydrate heaven (or hell, depending on which camp you’re in).

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Would you just look at these perfect little baby croissants?

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Only incurable dessert addicts need apply.

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As you can see in the reflection, there’s also a mini-freezer with Haagen-Dazs ice-cream!

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Fruits are healthy. Strawberries are delicious.

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Mine, all mine! *diabolical laughter*

(I’ve clearly lost it.)

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It’s a fact: all desserts are more enticing when presented in a shot glass.

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And finally, a chocolate fountain! It’s rose chocolate, in case you’re wondering why it looks unusually pale.

“Bite-sized” main courses (one per guest) were also included. These were made to order.

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Crispy beef cheek with foie gras and rosemary gravy.

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Spinach fettuccine pasta with crab and white wine cream.

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Of course, we left room for dessert!

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This one came with a tiny shot of rum for a boozy kick!

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The staff arranged an additional dessert platter, although it didn’t comprise of anything we couldn’t get for ourselves from the buffet line. Still, it was a sweet gesture (pun fully intended).

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Looking forward to many more years of celebrating with good food! ❤

The Mira Hong Kong
118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

http://www.themirahotel.com/whisk-sunday-brunch-2/

A Tour with a Difference: Great Ocean Road, Melbourne

There’s a rumour making its rounds, and it goes something like this: once you stay in Australia, you don’t want to leave. I know of people who went there about a decade ago with the intention to study or work there for 3 to 4 years, and they’re still there. Though I can’t confirm it, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that they’ll still be there a decade from now.

Last July, Mum and I headed Down Under for a week, and it was a blast. Fresh air, fresh food, loads of space (it’s a sign that you’ve been in Hong Kong too long when you’re practically agoraphobic) – who’d want to leave?

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Not these two. By the way, those brown specks in the background are wild kangaroos. Exciting stuff, but nothing compared to the throngs of kangaroos we encountered the following day! (To be seen in a future post.)

When in Melbourne, Mum and I stayed with Uncle Michael and Auntie Aibee, long-time friends of my parents. (Uncle Michael and Auntie Aibee, if you’re reading this, I can’t thank you enough for your hospitality!)

We also booked a couple of day tours with a local company called “A Tour with a Difference“, and it’s the Great Ocean Road day tour that I’ll be sharing with you in this post. I’d wholeheartedly recommend this tour to anyone who’s interested. We had a fantastic experience, and our guide Ian was simply wonderful.

Also, the convenience can’t be beat – they even picked us up from our doorstep first thing in the morning!

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Started our tour proper at Bells Beach, with seasoned surfers braving what felt like zero degrees out. (Don’t let the sunshine fool you!)

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It isn’t hard to tell that we’re from the tropics.

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We had a “traditional Aussie breakfast” by the beach (well, more like by the parking lot, but okay). Bush Billy tea, lamington cakes, vegemite and crackers… traditional indeed! Friendly reminder – don’t overdo the vegemite, like I did.

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So… my cheapo Taobao trench coat shrank in the wash and became way too short for me. It didn’t really fit right to begin with, but now it looks like it was stolen from the kiddie section. I’m debating whether to let it go, but technically it still fits and ugh, navy blue goes with everything! #vaingirlproblems

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Mum creeping up on an unsuspecting cockatoo.

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There was this really friendly dog who wanted to play fetch with everyone in the tour group. (His owners were chilling at a nearby table.) Unfortunately I threw the stick a lot less farther than he anticipated and he couldn’t find it. Oy, If I ever have a dog (one more reason to move to Australia), I better work on my pitching skills!

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The next part of the tour was super fun – feeding the birds! To be fair, it’s also quite scary, with birds flying towards you and literally clawing at you. Later I discovered that one of my hands was bleeding. T_T

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Is this the bird that scratched me? He’s got a face I don’t trust.

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Mum’s expression here is priceless. Actually I’ve got a bunch of funnier shots, but she’ll never let me off the hook if I put those up.

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I loved that all meals were included – no hidden costs! No scrappy takeaway boxes either – these were proper sit-down meals in lovely restaurants. The food isn’t going to blow your mind, but it’s definitely better than expected.

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After lunch, we got to walk off our meal in a lush temperate rainforest. The pictures don’t do it any justice, and you’ve got to see the trees in person to appreciate their magnificence.

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It isn’t hard to believe that some people live in trees once you’ve seen the size of ’em (the trees, not the people). I mean, I live in a tiny apartment in Hong Kong, so my imagination doesn’t require much stretching.

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True story: we were supposed to see the two of the Twelve Apostles, but Mum and I wandered off and walked around 1.5 kilometres in the wrong direction. D’oh! It sure took us long enough to wonder why there weren’t any other humans in the vicinity.

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We made it eventually. It would have been rather anti-climatic otherwise.

The sun was beginning to set, and the light was beautiful. Again, pictures don’t do the scenery any justice whatsoever. I wonder if wildlife photographers have this thought all the time. The beauty of nature can never be fully captured by a camera.

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We walked down the Gibson steps to get a closer look at the Apostles.

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Golden light!

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“I’ve always heard every ending is also a new beginning, we just don’t know it at the time. I’d like to believe that’s true.” (Source)

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More amateur food photography from yours truly. Um, it’s a cheeseburger.

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Hot chocolate: the best way to start – and end – a day.

That’s it for now! Stay tuned for more posts on the wonders of Down Under!